This presentation focuses on the exploitation of solar energy using photovoltaic devices. Solar energy can be converted in several ways. This lesson focuses on the conversion of light into electricity. This process is conducted with the support of solar cells. Solar cells are made of semiconducting materials similar to those used in computer chips. When sunlight is absorbed, the solar energy knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing the electrons to flow through the material to produce electricity. This process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage) is called the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaics (PV) is thus the field of technology and research related to the application of solar cells that convert sunlight directly into electricity.
Energy from the sun: an introduction to photovoltaics